Surprise, Dystopian Dance Party is Out!

Yesterday I sent the first physical issue of Dystopian Dance Party, the magazine I create with my sister Callie, to the press. I initially tried to share a preview of the page layout, but apparently the service we’re using doesn’t allow that without it being listed for sale on their storefront; so, what the fuck, you can now order our inaugural Prince issue a week earlier than planned!

If any readers out there are wondering why I haven’t been posting much lately, this is pretty much your answer. We put a lot of work into the magazine, and I hope that shows in the results. Included is work by myself and Callie, obviously, but also poets (including friend of the blog Jane Clare Jones!), artists (9T99, Jonathan Caustrita, Purple Project, and more), and even an honest-to-goodness spiritual medium. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be: eclectic, slightly irreverent, and unlike any other Prince tribute on the market.

For those interested in a digital copy, those will be available next week at a slightly reduced price (I’m thinking $6.99). And if you happen to be in Minneapolis next week for the Prince from Minneapolis conference and/or Celebration 2018, I’ll have about 50 extra copies for sale at $9 each!

You guys know I hate sounding too sales-pitchy, but I really am proud of this and want to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. I’ll be back to giving away my work for free soon, I promise!

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A Few Recent Posts from Dystopian Dance Party

(Featured Image: André Cymone’s underrated, alternate universe Vanity 6, the Girls, on the back cover of their 1984 album; © Columbia Records.)

I’m hoping to have my next post ready by the end of the week, but the Internet service in my new house might not cooperate; in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few recent links from my other blog, Dystopian Dance Party, that may be of interest to other d / m / s / r readers.

First, my sister and I recorded a podcast on the memoirs (plural!) of Rick James, with a fair amount of discussion about his longstanding, albeit mostly one-sided rivalry with Prince. It’s sort of an irreverent companion piece to my recent post on “Head,” so if you liked that and/or Rick James, check it out:

Dystopian Book Club Podcast, Jheri Curl June Edition: The Memoirs of Rick James

Second, just this morning I posted a short piece on the Girls, André Cymone’s spinoff group from shortly after he parted ways with Prince. Like so much about André’s career, I found it a good opportunity to reflect on the strange combination of luck, opportunity, and talent that made Prince a star over (and, at times, at the expense of) his friend and collaborator:

Jheri Curl June: The Girls’ “Girl Talk”

Like I said, hopefully I’ll have more to share shortly. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Sorry, folks, the next post still isn’t ready (next week!). But in the meantime, I wanted to bring attention to a page I just created, which should be helpful for new readers:

The Story So Far

It’s basically a table of contents for the blog, and an alternative to reading posts in the usual reverse-chronological scrolling order; just start from the top and work your way down. It will, of course, be updated as I add more posts. If you’re just starting out and want to know where to start, this is your best bet. You can access it on any page by clicking the “Menu” button in the top-right corner of the header.

Now, enough stalling. I promise, the next time I post it will be an actual update!

A Brief Update, and a Plug for a Fellow-Traveler

(Featured Image: Cover art for The Rise of Prince 1958-1988 by Alex Hahn and Laura Tiebert, from Amazon.)

Hi all: since a few people have been asking–can’t tell you how surreal it is to be working on a personal project where there’s actually interest in the next installment!–I thought I’d check in this week with a status update. I had hoped to have a new post up by the end of the week (i.e., today), but as usual, it’s taking longer than originally planned. I won’t promise a specific date to expect it by, but I will promise that it will be much more substantial than what I’ve been writing for the last couple of months. I’ll be covering Prince’s first band and their earliest performances at the Capri Theatre in Minneapolis, so I want it to be well-researched and well-written enough to do justice to this important phase in his musical development. I can only hope that it will be worth the wait–and, again, it thrills me to no end that there are actually people waiting to read this!

In the meantime, I wanted to use what little platform I have to plug another Prince-related project that I am personally very excited about: a new biography by Alex Hahn and Laura Tiebert, The Rise of Prince 1958-1988. Alex was one of the earliest supporters of this blog: he and I touched base early on in both of our projects to compare notes, and he has always been exceedingly kind in his feedback. But I’d be excited to read his new work even if I didn’t Internet-know him: his previous book, 2003’s Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince, was the first Prince biography I ever read, and it still holds up as an excellent, narrative-focused, warts-and-all retelling of the first 25 years of the artist’s career. According to Alex, the new book is not a revision of Possessed but a drastic overhaul, with original research that should shed new light on Prince’s early years in particular. I can’t wait to add it to this blog’s ever-expanding bibliography.

To that end, if you’re interested in reading another Prince biography–and, if you read this blog, I imagine you probably are–The Rise of Prince is due to release digitally on February 28th, for the very reasonable price of $8.99; there should also be a paperback version available for preorder soon. If you, like me, are motivated by narcissism, Alex also noted on the book’s Facebook group that anyone who preorders the book before February 13th gets their name in the acknowledgements: just send an email by that date to theriseofprince@gmail.com. Having read Possessed and followed the new book’s development, I feel confident enough in its quality to add a preorder link to the sidebar on this site. And–this is where I smoothly transition from plugging for someone else to plugging for myself–if you use that link (or any of my other Amazon product links), you will also be supporting dance / music / sex / romance with a very small kickback. So, you know, here’s your chance to help out two independently-published Prince projects at the same time, and all it takes is nine U.S. dollars.

But really, even if you don’t use my affiliate link, you should check out The Rise of Prince. There are going to be a lot of books published about Prince in the coming months, some legit and some less so; based on what I know of this project and its authors, I have no doubt that this will be one of the legit ones. So that’s it, pitch over. See you again soon!